after Ash Wednesday
Judith, Chapter 10,
When you stand before him, have no FEAR in your heart; give him the report
you have given us, and he will treat you well.”
Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes.
and the Beast
bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make
herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing, and
jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is
good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from
within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her
exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her
beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon to the
best of her ability.
are awed at her loveliness.
goes out to the enemy camp and to war.
demonstrates her trust in God by walking to certain death with only her maid
and her allure.
guards are overcome by God’s weapon-beauty.
Women often desire to be beautiful but many unfortunately misunderstand that true beauty radiates from the soul. Remember that your beauty must be devoted to the service of God. Equally a man’s strength must be devoted to the service of God.
1. The ancient women cared for their
skin with oatmeal and milk, and Cleopatra was legendary for her milk baths.
2. Honey was extremely valuable in
ancient days and a symbol of divine blessing. Women applied it to their skin,
along with oils, as part of their bathing ritual.
women invented mineral cosmetics, and used eye shadows, face powder, blush, and
4. Ancient women did more than perfume
themselves before a romantic evening: they perfumed their beds.
5. Myrrh was a precious perfume oil in
the ancient world renowned for its ability to soothe skin and fight wrinkles.
6. Flax was a common food source.
Researchers believe the omega-3 fatty acids in flax may help the body regulate
leptin, which helps you lose weight and burn fat more efficiently.
7. Cinnamon was used as sacred
anointing oil and perfume; research tells us that consuming cinnamon plays a
role in regulating blood sugar.
are rich in carotenoids, the phytonutrient that can help “block
sunlight-induced inflammation of the skin, which leads to wrinkles.
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
EPISTLE. Isaias Iviii. 9-14.
THUS, saith the Lord God: If thou wilt
take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the
finger, and to speak that which is good for nothing. When thou shalt pour out
thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy
light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the
Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness,
and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a
fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been
desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundations
of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the
fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the
Sabbath, from doing thy own will in My holy day, and call the Sabbath
delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify Him, while thou dost
not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found, to speak a word : then shalt
thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of
the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the
mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
GOSPEL. Mark vi. 47-56.
May Thy faithful, O Lord, be confirmed by Thy gifts, that,
receiving them, they may seek them, and seeking may receive them forever.
Doing Small Things Well
Moreover, it is presumptuous for a
person to try to practice the greater virtues without first paying attention to
the smaller ones. As Our Lord says, "He who is faithful in a very little
is faithful also in much"1
and so can be trusted with greater things. Therefore, if a person wants to be
able to abstain in greater matters he must not neglect to abstain in smaller
matters, such as through fasting.
Finally, there is a subtle form of
pride present in the person who says that because something is not very
important, he does not need to do it. Whoever makes such a claim implies that
he does only important things. But the average person is rarely called to do
very important things. Accordingly, each person is more likely to be judged on
how he did the little, everyday things. Even when, rarely, a person is called
to do a great work, how often does he fall short? All the more reason, then,
for a person to make sure that he at least does the small things well.
Furthermore, if he truly loves the Lord, he will gladly do anything—big or
small—for him. So, in the end, saying that fasting is not the most important
thing is not a good excuse for avoiding it.
What, then, is the reason for fasting?
To answer this let us first clarify what fasting entails. It involves more than
the occasional fast, such as on Good Friday. To be effective, fasting requires
disciplined eating habits all the time. There are certainly days when a person
should make a greater effort at abstaining from food and drink. These are what
we usually consider days of fasting and they must be practiced regularly. But,
still, there are never days when a person is allowed to abandon all restraint.
A person must always practice some restraint over his appetites, or those
periodic days of fasting are valueless. Always keeping a check on his desires,
a person develops good habits, which foster constancy in his interior life. So,
in addition to practicing days of fasting on a regular basis, a person should
continuously restrain his desires, such as those that incline him to eat too
much, to be too concerned with what he eats, or to eat too often.
We might, then speak of the discipline
of fasting in order to avoid the impression that fasting is sporadic. The
operative principle behind the discipline of fasting is simple: to limit
yourself to only what is necessary for your physical and psychological
health—no more, no less. St. Augustine puts it concisely when he teaches:
"As far as your health allows, keep your bodily appetites in check by
fasting and abstinence from food and drink." So, fasting is meant only to
keep a person's unnecessary wants in check. A person is not— nor is he
permitted—to deny himself what is necessary for his health. The discipline of
fasting instead asks a person to check his desires for what is superfluous and
Seven Founders of the
Orders of Servite’s
These seven men were the founders of the Servite Order, a community instituted for the special purpose of cultivating the spirit of penance and contemplating the passion of Christ and Mary's Seven Sorrows. Due to the spirit of humility cherished by the members of the Order, their accomplishments are not too widely known. But in the field of home missions’ great things are to their credit, and certainly they have benefited millions by arousing devotion to the Mother of Sorrows. The Breviary tells us that in the midst of the party strife during the thirteenth century, God called seven men from the nobility of Florence. In the year 1233 they met and prayed together most fervently. The Blessed Mother appeared to each of them individually and urged them to begin a more perfect life. Disregarding birth and wealth, in sackcloth under shabby and well-worn clothing they withdrew to a small building in the country. It was September 8, selected so that they might begin to live a more holy life on the very day when the Mother of God began to live her holy life. Soon after, when the seven were begging alms from door to door in the streets of Florence, they suddenly heard children's voices calling to them, "Servants of holy Mary." Among these children was St. Philip Benizi, then just five months old. Hereafter they were known by this name, first heard from the lips of children. In the course of time they retired into solitude on Monte Senario and gave themselves wholly to contemplation and penance. Leo XIII canonized the Holy Founders and introduced today's feast in 1888.
Today is my mother Rosella’s birthday (RIP)
Feb 17, 1927-Feb 2, 2002
Please say a Hail Mary for her soul.
Today is also the National Congress of
Mothers later known as the PTO which was established in 1897.
Motherhood is tough these days don’t forget to pray for mothers of today.
Stay-at-Home Mom (Does
not just eat bon bons and watch “Charmed” on TV)
Forget everything you've
heard about stay-at-home moms. A new generation is starting their own;
businesses, blogging and working at home. These women are known as WAHM’s (Work
At Home Moms) proving women can be nurturing while increasing the net income of
a family while overseeing that the family comes first. Great families start
with great couples; great parents which means a great family. If we want to
make America great it starts here. The model for any mother is of course the
original work at home mom which is Mary mother of God. Today say the Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary.
Moms: Here is an original children’s story I have written a long time ago. Enjoy
THE TREE OF HAPPINESS
Sir Michael was, Guardian of the
Throne, to the King of Utopia, Richard. Utopia was a Kingdom like many others
of that age, Most the Knights to the King had long forgot their oaths of duty
and selfless service. Most of them were heavily involved in petty schemes or
feuds with other Knights and spend a great deal of time and energy in
self-promotion. In order to afford these pursuits of big-headedness they
extracted heavy taxes from the peasants. The sons of these Knights were worse
than their fathers and had much time for idle pleasures and failed to train
properly as Knights of the Realm. These youth wasted much of their time in
satisfying selfish pleasures, such as taking magical powders which made the
takers have visions and feel a great sense of well-being. In addition, many of
these Knights to be were in the habit of drinking strong drinks to excess and
going about mistreating the daughters and sons of the peasants. To be continued tomorrow.
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
ONE-YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR
SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND
Article 2 THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
You have heard that it was said to the men of old,
"You shall not swear falsely. . But I say to you, Do not swear at all.
The Collegeville Bible Commentary,